Friday, February 26, 2010

Random Conversations

This was inspired by the kiddo noticing that surface bubbles in a pot of porridge morsels soaking in dish soap were dispersed in a shape to reveal a watery center that looked so much like a maple-leaf...or a squished map of Australia for that matter LOL. (The photo was taken after our discussion and some inadvertant pot handling so it looks more like squished Africa now!).

Me: Those surface tension science experiments where you drop a little detergent to watch pepper or something else you think those always disperse in a specific pattern?

Kiddo (knowingly): Dad says everything has a pattern...

Me: Everything? Really?

Kiddo (thinking): Hmmm...I think, except chaos! And prime numbers!

Me: Prime they really have no patterns? No known pattern perhaps?

Kiddo: Prime numbers have no known pattern. Because (he went into a string of explanations here about activities we've done in the past).

Now that started me wondering. We're by no extensions of the imagination any experts on primes but I'm also not certain kiddo's statement is correct. So I did some checking and it seems there are patterns...or are there? There're so many links to be found by googling "patterns in prime numbers" and other variations but I'm not able to find something suitably layman-ish and clear-cut. I found something interesting on page 134 of our copy of Conway's The Book of Numbers which I will be investigating later.

I'd love a layman's explanation if anyone has found something especially clearly and interestingly written on prime number patterns.

Once we've learnt a little on the primes, then we'll try handling that bit about chaos.


  1. Life must be full of interesting conversations in your house :)

  2. Hi Suji,
    My dd wrote to your personal id and tried posting her response here. But it was too long to fit it in. Thanks for sending her the question because she really enjoyed sending her comments. Since she wanted me to send it to help your readers, I have let her be a guest blogger in my blog today. So, the answers are here
    Have Fun!

  3. Oooh, that looks like a good book! :) Another one for the wishlist...

  4. Thanks again Subadra and to Epic too! Michelle, the book was in fact recommended by Subadra :) It's a lovely tome on all the amazing patterns in nature...and coincidentally maybe (smile) numbers.


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